“I’ve struggled with gender my entire life but I always pushed it to the back of my mind in fear of the backlash from my family and friends; last year I began to address my struggles. I embarked on the journey to discover who I am, I yearned for a role model or just someone that understood my personal struggles, which were very specific. I was negotiating gender identity combined with a Vietnamese family and cultural background. Because I was born and raised in Kentucky, it was challenging to find people or resources in my community. Even searching online with an abundance of resources for trans folks, it was challenging to find information on being Asian and trans. I felt very isolated.
As I started meeting more trans and gender diverse Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs), I began hearing similar narratives to my own. We felt lonely and isolated. I realized that I could continue looking for a role model or I can be that role model just by putting myself out there. What better way than through YouTube. So, I asked a few of friends that I knew felt similarly, and transAPIvoices was created.”
transAPIvoices is a collaboration channel of trans and gender diverse Asians and Pacific Islanders from all over the U.S. This channel is for to us share narratives and experiences navigating and negotiating our identities. We created this online space because of the difficulty finding narratives similar to our specific experiences being trans/gender diverse and API. We hope this channel can be used as a tool, to create a support system and community, and to show other trans and gender diverse APIs that you are not alone.”
— Jayden Thai // Founder transAPI Voices + Visibility Project Participant in 2012